Where do I start laying the decking boards

by Derek Strickland
(Anchorage)

I have all the deck posts, sono tubes, beams and joists all in place. The deck is ready for the decking boards.

Do I start installing decking boards from the house or the outside of the deck and work my way in?

The deck is just a rectangle deck 25 ft long 8 ft from the house using Trex decking.




Editor's Comment's:

This is a great question which I thought for sure we had discussed somewhere on the site but we haven't.

Where to begin installing the decking boards?

The truth is it can be done in both ways, starting at the house or at the edge of the deck working back to the house.

However in either case you will likely have to cut the last board to width to fit. If you start at the house you could end up with a very narrow board at the end.

Also this may not look very nice at all.

If you have not really accurately built the dimensions of the frame to accommodate perfectly the spacing and width of the decking, then its probably easier to start at the edge of the deck and fit the last custom sized piece in against the house where it is less visible.

With the popularity of decking techniques like picture framing the in field decking, it is becoming more and more important to take the time to measure the framing exactly with the width and spacing of decking in mind.

This takes time but the end result is beautiful. And if you are using nice material like the Trex boards another good reason.

In your case I would start laying the decking boards at the edge and work my way in. It will be easier and look better.

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Jul 12, 2022
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House Out NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm surprised that starting at the edge and working toward the house is so common, and that I can't find a single case where it is installed starting from the house and working outward.

In my case, I don't care if the finished width of the deck is 16'0" or 16'3", just as long as I don't have to rip any boards down the long way. I plan on laying out the boards starting at the house, and when I get close to the edge, I'll cut the joist boards down to allow a full board. (2.75" shorter than the total width of the deck to allow for 1.5" rim joist, 0.625" facia board, and 0.625" overhang)

I'm just worried that I'm missing an important reason no one does it this way.

Jul 12, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
House Out NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm surprised that starting at the edge and working toward the house is so common, and that I can't find a single case where it is installed starting from the house and working outward.

In my case, I don't care if the finished width of the deck is 16'0" or 16'3", just as long as I don't have to rip any boards down the long way. I plan on laying out the boards starting at the house, and when I get close to the edge, I'll cut the joist boards down to allow a full board. (2.75" shorter than the total width of the deck to allow for 1.5" rim joist, 0.625" facia board, and 0.625" overhang)

I'm just worried that I'm missing an important reason no one does it this way.

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